Fri, May 04, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Toxic Chinese pills not imported into Taiwan, MAC says

Staff writer, with CNA

Chinese-made gel capsules found to contain excessive levels of chromium, a known carcinogen, have not been imported into Taiwan, officials said yesterday.

None of the 13 types of medicine dispensed in the tainted capsules have been imported, an official from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said, adding that local authorities were working closely with their Chinese counterparts to track the whereabouts of the capsules.

The official stated that Taiwan does not authorize imports of empty gel capsules for pharmaceutical use from China.

China has seized about 77 million gel capsules made from industrial waste and containing levels of chromium in excess of 100 times the permitted safety levels since the scandal unfolded last month.

The toxic capsules have been used to package various pharmaceutical products in China, including medication for colds, rhinitis and stomach disorders.

Fifty-four people have been detained and 80 production lines have been shut down, Chinese state media reported on April 22.

The council said it would keep working with China to track down any capsules still on the market through an agreement on medical and health cooperation signed by the two sides in 2010.

The Department of Health confirmed the government does not allow imports of empty capsules from China.

“We don’t issue import licenses to China regarding capsules,” a department official said.

However, various measures have been adopted to prevent questionable capsules from being smuggled into the country since the department learned of the scandal, he said.

Local pharmaceutical companies and the Coast Guard Administration have been asked to heighten their vigilance, the official said.

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